Snowboarder sues Skico for collision |

Snowboarder sues Skico for collision

A Summit County snowboarder is suing the Aspen Skiing Co. for damages after a Skico employee on a snowmobile allegedly struck and injured the boarder at Snowmass in February 1998.

In the civil lawsuit, filed Friday in Pitkin County District Court, Jeremiah Worm, of Dillon, seeks an unspecified amount in damages from the Skico and the unidentified Skico employee. The suit also demands a trial by jury.

Worm claims that on Feb. 28, 1998, he was boarding on Sneaky’s Run at Snowmass when he collided with a snowmobile driven by a Skico employee. Worm was “severely and permanently injured” as a result of the collision, according to the suit.

The driver “breached his duty to [Worm] by failing to operate the snowmobile in a safe manner … [Worm’s] injuries were directly and proximately caused by the negligence of [the driver],” the suit further asserts.

Because the driver was operating the snowmobile within the context of his job with the Skico, the company is responsible for his actions and inactions, according to the lawsuit.

Dave Bellack, vice president and general counsel for the Skico, was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

The lawsuit follows on the heels of a verdict against the Skico last month in U.S. District Court in Denver. A federal jury awarded a snowboarder $100,000 after finding the Skico negligent because the boarder collided with a snowmobile at Snowmass in March 1997.

With interest, the judgment in favor of Emilie Lee of Vermont totaled about $123,000. Lee claimed the Skico employee driving the machine failed to yield to boarders and skiers coming down the hill at the bottom of Whispering Jesse before crossing the slope.

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